Skin Deep is a London-based, multimedia platform that magnifies voices of colour through the discussion of race and culture. The platform’s work inspires much needed conversations around subjects that “are usually misrepresented or depoliticised by the mainstream media” which are then documented within a publication. The latest issue, Movements acts as “a tribute to those who came before, and a guide for those who will come after”, officially launching on 24 November at Goldsmiths University.
“We want the stories of people of colour to be told by people of colour,” the magazine’s founders say, “and for our audience to understand that race and identity is political, complex and multifaceted.” Collaborating with a mix of musicians, writers, artists and other creatives to share the work, Skin Deep does not compromise on its value, “prioritising the lives narratives and aesthetics of people of colour.”
Anu Henriques and Lina Abushouk, the magazine’s co-editors, describe the latest issue of Skin Deep an exploration of movement, dealing “with the lesser-known histories of black and brown activism in the UK and around the world.” Sponsored by the Black Cultural Activism Mapping project, the editors sought out to “use the issue to think through small, intangible movements that activists, writers and artists bring to the political movements that they become a part of.”
The eighth issue explores the minute details of political movements including the mundane and all the various temporalities, intentions, memories and histories that make up the wider context of politicised agendas. Anu and Lina further add that “political movements are moments of excess and overflow that belong to the collective. Yet the songs we listen to before a march, as well as the conversations we have in the lead up to an action, and the exhaustion we feel afterwards are all vital movements that we, as individuals, bring to movements.”
The design of the publication is married to its charged content. In political movements, design has been a fundamental aspect of the enduring legacy of the movement, for instance, the iconography of black power the civil rights movements from the 60s and 70s. The challenge for the creative team of Skin Deep incorporated updating this aesthetic for the current times and establishing a design that reflects the here and now. Consequently, Skin Deep’s eighth issue “strikes a delicate balance between the past and the present”, emphasising work that is emotive and bold through the portraits dedicated to the likes of Winnie Mandela and Archie Sibeko. Notably, the issue features conversations with the founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, Patrisse Khan Cullors, as well as The Guardian’s favourite, Gary Younge.
The publication also includes a mini zine by the artist Anna Himali Howard, whose practice encompasses committing to doing a small action each day. The mini zine is Anna’s way “of combatting the paralysis that most of us feel when we thing about the enormity of the changes happening in our political life and the helplessness we feel about our abilities to affect meaningful change”, explains the editors. This mini zine specifically focuses on the Home Office’s hostile environmental policies. Although some information is contextualised within the zine, the majority of the content signposts other external sources of information with the intention of encouraging the readers to further engage with the subject matter, “bringing together design and activism”. In being so easy to share and distribute projects such as this “have the potential to create small pockets of action that eventually add up to something bigger”.
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